Assignment Overview and Grading Policies

Grading in this course is done on a point system.  You earn points for demonstrating your ability and knowledge on different assignments.  The total number of point you earn over the semester determines your final grade for the course.  There is no extra credit and no late assignments are accepted without an official excused absence from the University.  There is no curve for the course—your grade is determined purely based on the effort you put in and your achievements over the course of the semester.

Assignment Breakdown:

There are five categories of graded assignments in this course.  Click the link for specific directions.

(1) 4 Question Course Prep (0-4 points each, 14 assignments= 56 points possible)

At midnight the night before each live class meeting, you’ll submit answers to four class prep questions.  Answers will be submitted as private entries on your Dialogue Group page.  Each of your answers should be roughly one paragraph. The questions have a typical format. Q1 is an open-ended response to the readings. Q2 tests your understanding of the readings and has a correct/incorrect answer.  Q3 asks you to relate the readings to your Identity Inventory for the start of class.  Q4 asks you to take a stand on an issue we’ll be debating in class.  You get one point each for an excellent answer to the question.

(2) Op-Eds (0-25 points each, 3 Op-Eds and 1 Commentary Grade=100 points possible)

Here is the complete overview (and deadlines) for the Op-Ed assignments.

(3) The Apology Assignment (100 points possible, divided into many subsections)

Here is the complete overview (and deadlines) for the Apology assignment.

Here is a video introduction to the main assignment in this course.

(4) In-Class Community Debates (0-3 points each, 14 meetings=42 points possible)

During the first hour of each class, you’ll be expected to be an active and engaged discussant.  Points will be awarded at the end of each meeting for (1) the quality of your contributions to our discussion, (2) your ability to relate points back to the current event readings and philosophical texts, and (3) your participation in class polls, short assignments, answer cold-calling.

(5) Sustained Dialogues (0-10 points each, 7 meetings=70 points possible)

Here is the complete overview  for the Sustained Dialogue assignment.

View a Sample Post-Dialogue Assessment Form

Grade Cutoffs:

  • [A] > 284 points
  • [A-] 265-284 points
  • [B+] 245-264 points
  • [B] 225-244 points
  • [B-] 205-224 points
  • [C+] 185-204 points
  • [C] 165-184 points
  • [C-] 145-164 points
  • [D] 125-144 points
  • [F] 105-124 points

Grade Communication:

At the start of the term you will be given a link to a secure Google sheet that will be updated with your points as soon as they are available.